5 judgment rulings that infuriated MMA fans

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Bad judging decisions have always been a common occurrence in the sport of MMA. While we can be indulgent with the judges in a competitive battle, there have been instances where a fighter who seemed to be on the way to victory ended up losing the fight.

Champions with much vaunted prospects, all have been victims of bad judgment. Nowadays in MMA we call it a “theft”.

Some of those decisions didn’t appeal to the MMA community either. Today we take a look at five of those judgmental decisions that have infuriated MMA fans.


# 5 Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio Rua 1

UFC 104: Machida vs. Shogun
UFC 104: Machida vs. Shogun

Veteran MMA Lyoto Machida’s first title defense was against Mauricio Rua at UFC 104 in 2009. He beat Rashad Evans in his previous outing to win the light heavyweight championship.

Machida and Rua were able to stretch the fight from a distance at UFC 104. During their fierce fight, “Shogun” constantly set Machida on fire with his searing kicks in the legs.

Rua apparently controlled the majority of the fight and beat his compatriot in four of the five rounds. He was aggressive in his approach and it looked like Machida was going to be dethroned.

However, all three judges scored the contest 48-47 in favor of ‘The Dragon’. During Machida’s post-fight interview, the crowd erupted into boos at Staples Center.

MMA fans criticized the judges’ decision, so much so that the UFC was forced to reward Rua with a win bonus. Although he lost the fight, ‘Shogun’ returned home with a big salary.

The two collided in a rematch at UFC 113, where Rua knocked out Machida in the first round and won the UFC light heavyweight championship. He lost the title to Jon Jones in his next fight.


# 4 Gleison Tibau vs. Rory MacDonald

Former UFC stars Rory MacDonald and Gleison Tibau were the headliners of the recently concluded PFL 5 event. While a win might have seen MacDonald confirm his place in the play-offs, Tibau needed a finish if he was to survive in the 2021 PFL season. At the end of the three-round main event, Tibau was controversially declared the winner of the fight.

MacDonald looked extremely precise with his strikes throughout the 15 minutes. He dictated the fight in the opening frame, sending punches to the body and mixing it up with razor sharp punches to the head.

Although Tibau stuffed a slew of MacDonald pull-out attempts, he couldn’t do much damage to the former UFC welterweight. Two of the judges sort of scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Tibau, while one gave it to MacDonald.

After the fight, the MMA community strongly condemned the judgment at PFL 5.


# 3 Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill

Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill
Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill

Michael Bisping and Matt Hamill met inside the Octagon at UFC 75 in 2007. Both fighters were undefeated and the promotion had heavily publicized the clash since the event was held in the country of. origin of Bisping. ‘The Count’ was considered the favorite to win the fight despite his size disadvantage in the light heavyweight division.

Hamill, who was relatively inexperienced compared to Bisping, put in an impressive performance. He outclassed the Englishman on the feet and also showed superior wrestling.

In the third round, Bisping was more aggressive in beating ‘The Hammer’. However, Hamill enjoyed some ground control in the final frame that MMA fans believed was enough for him to secure the victory. Still, two judges gave the fight to Bisping with scores of 29-28.

Fans later suspected that Bisping was declared the winner simply because the event took place in England.


# 2 Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks

Georges St-Pierre announced his retirement after controversial victory over Johnny Hendricks
Georges St-Pierre announced his retirement after controversial victory over Johnny Hendricks

George St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks was surrounded by controversy The two faced off at UFC 167 in 2013, where St-Pierre claimed victory in what has been one of the most controversial fights in the UFC. all time.

Considering the buckets of talent that ‘GSP’ and Hendricks were, their highly anticipated fight had to always be a close fight. Two judges scored the fight 48-47 for St-Pierre, while one gave Hendricks the green light, which enraged fans.

All major MMA outlets and MMA pundits agreed that “Bigg Rigg” should have been the new UFC welterweight champion. Immediately after the fight, St-Peirre announced his retirement, adding fuel to the fire.


# 1 Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Guy Mezger at Japanese MMA promotion, Pride FC

Pride FC was still in its infancy when professional wrestling phenomenon Kazushi Sakuraba challenged Guy Mezger in the promotion’s Grand Prix tournament.

It was a one-round MMA fight that lasted 15 minutes. Much like the ONE Championship rules, the judges rated the fight overall.

Although Mezger completely dictated the fight as he pleased throughout the grueling 15 minutes, the judges ruled the match as a draw, meaning the fight would go into overtime.

Mezger’s teammate and coach Ken Shamrock, who is not known to keep his cool, burst into the ring and confronted the referee. He ordered Mezger and his corner to forfeit the game, which gave Sakaruba the victory.


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